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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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A significant change took place in Japan immediately after World War II. Between 1947 and 1957, a phenomenal decline in the birth rate was registered; live births dropped from 35 per 1,000 in 1947 to 17 in 1957a decline of 50 percent in only 10 years. Such a dramatic decline in fertility is extraordinary in the demographic history of the world. Although contraception has been used in Japan for some time, abortion was the main underlying cause of fertility decline during this period. According to Koya,* the drop in the birth rate was due 80 percent to abortion and 20 percent to contraception.
Even though comprehensive statistics are not available for the prewar period, it does seem evident that abortion was never absent from the natality scene in Japan. Before 1948, it appears that a less spectacular incidence of abortion, together with contraceptive efforts, was responsible for keeping the birth rate in the mid-30's rather than in the mid-40's, as in the present-day developing nations.
Following World War II, abortions reached the high proportion of 716.3 per 1,000 live births in 1957. Table 2 gives the number of legal abortions and
TABLE 2 Trends in Births and Legal Abortions in Japan, 1949-1965
	Live	Legal		Legal
	Births	Abortions	Birth Rate	Abortions
	(in	(in	per 1,000	per 1,000
Year	1,000's)	1,000's)	Population	Live Births
1949	2,696.6	246.1	33.2	91.3
1950	2,337.5	489.1	28.2	209.2
1951	2,137.7	638.4	25.4	298.6
1952	2,005.2	798.2	23.5	398.1
1953	1,868.0	1,068.1	21.5	571.8
1954	1,769.6	1,143.1	20.1	646.0
1955	1,730.7	1,170.1	19.4	676.1
1956	1,665.3	1,159.3	18.5	696.2
1957	1,566.7	1,122.3	17.2	716.3
1958	1,649.8	1,128.2	18.0	683.8
1959	1,622.8	1,098.9	17.5	677.2
1960	1,603.0	1,063.2	17.2	663.3
1961	1,586.4	1,035.0	16.9	652.4
1962	1,613.1	985.4	17.0	610.9
1963	1,657.4	955.1	17.3	576.3
1964	1,714.7	878.7	17.7	512.5
1965	1,821.8	843.2	18.6	462.8
Source	:  (12,13).			
*Citcd	in (8).